England's friendly foray into this elegant Swedish archipelago yesterday (Tuesday) dissolved into a debate about passports, birth certificates and Fifa international clearances. It was a minor miracle that Roy Hodgson's players got through customs at Arlanda airport they had so much to declare, so much paperwork to ponder.
There was Wilfried Zaha still -musing over whether he would commit to England, eschewing the -wooing of Ivory Coast. There was Carl Jenkinson still awaiting documents from Zurich to allow him to sit on the bench for England after Finnish -junior duty.
Even if Zaha or Jenkinson enter the fray in the second half of a non-competitive fixture, they can still turn their back on England. Yet simply a glimpse of the glamour, clamour and immense significance of life with England may influence their thoughts. Hodgson is right to bring them.
The paperwork that matters most is the team-sheet. Hodgson's chosen XI this evening contains experience and exuberance, balance and pace. All those qualities will be urgently required against strong Swedish hosts determined to mark the -opening of the splendid Friends Arena in -winning style.
Hodgson has had his hand slightly forced by withdrawals. England's manager, a popular figure in Sweden from his club management days here, admitted before training last night that he would not have selected a line-up so callow in parts had Wayne Rooney, Ashley Cole, Jermain Defoe and Aaron Lennon been fit.
Three debuts are guaranteed, lifting the number of players to have represented England to 1191. Steven Caulker, 20, is blooded at centre-half, the 31-year-old Leon Osman starts in midfield while Raheem Sterling, 17, is unleashed down the right against Sweden.
According to englandfootballonline.com, the 14 years between Osman and Sterling is the largest post-war age gap between debut-makers in the same match. Opportunity Knocks meets the Generation Game tonight. Sterling and Caulker have taken the traditional age-group path to the -senior side.
"They have made that transition you expect players to make when they are playing well for the Under-21s into the national team," Hodgson said.
People have been musing recently over the Olympic legacy but here it is for football in the improved figure of Caulker, who caught Hodgson's eye shining for Team GB. A physically imposing centre-half, Caulker also boasts calm distribution, always a welcome quality in a world where England donate the ball to the opposition too frequently.
Caulker impressed on loan at Swansea City last term, for Team GB in the summer, and for Spurs on occasion this season. He will partner Gary Cahill in a back-line bookended by Glen Johnson and Leighton Baines, protecting Joe Hart.
Teaming up with his club-mate Johnson, Sterling will look to raid down the flank. "The Liverpool games I have seen he has made more than a significant contribution," Hodgson said. "In some of the games he has been pretty much a star player for Liverpool and extremely dangerous with his ability to run with the ball, his pace, his directness. He has even scored one or two important goals. If he can do it on a regular basis for Liverpool in the Premier League, I have every right to think he can do it playing for England as well."
Ashley Young provides the width on the left with Baines, also moving inside and linking with Steven Gerrard, Tom Cleverley and Osman as England seek to serve the frontrunning Danny Welbeck. At 31 years and 181 days, Osman becomes England's second oldest debut-maker since 1954 (after Kevin Davies, who was 33 years and 201 days).
Unlike the fast-tracked likes of Sterling and Caulker, and probably Zaha and Jenkinson, Osman has not been handed an England shirt. He has fought hard for it, quietly demanding it with his consistency in Everton's midfield. His cap is a reward for persistence, in never stopping believing, a reminder of the importance of hard work and professionalism. At 31, Osman may not prove the answer but he is worth a try given the number of questions permanently clinging to England's possession-wasting underachievers.
"For many a year now, he has been one of those Everton players who has been one of the unsung heroes at a very good football club and a very good football team," continued Hodgson. "It's nice to have him in the squad. He is a very energetic player. I was told he is 31 which surprises me. He plays like a much younger man so let's hope he continues to play like a much younger man and I won't have worry about his birth certificate."
Zaha was born in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, but moved to England aged four and is now embedded in Crystal Palace folklore for a string of swift, skilful displays. But it is one thing destroying Peterborough United's defence in the Championship and quite another delivering on the right for England. Winning over Posh does not make Zaha the new Becks.
Asked whether "Zaha is as good as everyone says", Hodgson replied: "I don't know to be perfectly honest. I've followed him for the last couple of years. When I was at West Brom he was obviously one of the transfer targets. I'd think he is on the radar of virtually every Premier League club.
"But it would be wrong of me, after doing one training session of 40 minutes in the driving rain with eight players, to say: 'Yes this is a superstar in the making.' But we'd like to think he's got the qualities and the right sort of attributes that we're looking for to move us forward. He's very direct, very pacey, skilful with the ball, eye for goal."
Zaha is worth a second-half audition, seeing if there is genuine, long-term substance to the hype.
Tonight offers a passport to prominence.